Lime Gulch Fire: All evacuations lifted, 511 acres, 90 percent contained

Some closed roads reopened at 8 p.m. Friday

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. - All evacuees from the Lime Gulch Fire in Jefferson County will be able to return home at 9 p.m. Saturday, officials said.

The fire is now considered to be 90 percent contained and is expected to be fully contained by Sunday.

During a Saturday morning update, officials said the fire had grown slightly, to 511 acres -- a small amount of growth from Friday.  The size did not grow any further when officials provided an evening update.

Road closures remain at three points to assist firefighters. Only residents with ID will be allowed past the following locations:

-Foxton Road at Reynolds Park (Reynolds Park remains closed to the public.) 

- S. W. Platte River Road, north of Buffalo Creek

-The W. Platte River Road, west of Two Forks

Residents are being asked to stay out of the burn areas as firefighters continue mop-up operations.

All of the Colorado Trail will be reopened to the public.

Power is being restored to affected residents and all residents should have power by 8 a.m. Sunday.

There have been about 283 firefighters battling the fire along with military and civilian tankers and helicopters.

"It is very good to see those planes up there," said Fred Ahr, a 27-year firefighter with the North Fork Fire Department. He said it's very hard for ground crews to reach the fire on the steep sides of the South Platte River Canyon.

"The terrain is almost straight up and down," said Ahr, adding that the slopes have large rock formations and are heavily timbered in some places. "So it makes it extremely difficult to get to any place where you can start accomplishing anything."

Fire crews are trying to establish containment lines around the fire, as well as keep the fire south of the North Fork South Platte River and west of the South Platte River, officials said.

Jefferson County sheriff's spokeswoman Jacki Kelley said the county's CodeRED alert system had sent evacuation notifications to 410 phones for residents in Buffalo Creek Township and within a 3-mile radius of the intersection of South Foxton Road and Platte River Road.

The township of Buffalo Creek opened to residents on Friday.

Jefferson County Sheriff Ted Mink said the cause of the fire is assumed to be lightning.

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